R Lalique Cire Perdue Wasp Vase by Rene Lalique

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Auction Houses We Recommend Typical R. Lalique Collectors Avoid!

February 21st, 2024

Dear Readers, this will be a slow growing post beginning with the creation of a list of auction house names. Time permitting explanations will be added for many auction houses explaining why we included them on this list.

And when we say “Typical R. Lalique Collectors” we are excluding sophisticated and knowledgeable collectors with many years of collecting experience who may have already amassed large collections or been involved with R. Lalique for decades. Most R. Lalique collectors have a few to a few dozen pieces. They have bought things they liked, and are looking for opportunities to acquire more R. Lalique items that appeal to them. They don’t have the expertise of long time collectors because they don’t have the same level of experience in the collecting field. From our experience, many or most typical collectors are hoping that the items they buy will appreciate in value over time, and provide some kind of return on their investment while they enjoy their items as decorative objects.

Also, many of the places that we will refer to as auction houses, are just retail stores running online auctions as part of their marketing strategy. Some are just people in an office so there is no store, AND no live events. So it’s not just places that have a live auction that you can attend. For many of these “auction houses”, the only way to bid is online as they don’t conduct live in-person auctions. Finally, we will not list auctions on our main auction page that are being conducted by any of the “auction houses” on this list. And as is always our position, if anyone has a problem with any information contained in the following list, we will cheerfully and promptly make an necessary corrections.

So enough with the chitchat, the first entry is a no brainer.

1. HERITAGE AUCTIONS – DALLAS TEXAS. Heritage is one of the largest auction houses in the world by total sales, and they may be one of the top five auction houses in the world when ranked by sales. Heritage is generally well respected. Unfortunately, Heritage has a history of offering fake non-R. Lalique items as R. Lalique. They claim their expert in the works of René Lalique is the leading U.S. authority! Here it is from their website: “He has held an annual exhibition and sale of Lalique glass hood ornaments at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance since 1993, and is considered this country’s leading authority on the work of Rene Lalique.” So out the window go the ignorance and mistake excuses:). We’ve written several blog posts about the goings on at Heritage in regard to fake offerings, one of which got nearly $12,000 at one of their sales, and another of which is the bizarre Square Plate with the phony signature that is still on the Heritage website as we write this (Feb 21, 2024) looking for a sale, being re-offered apparently by the lucky winning bidder through some kind of re-offer program (pass the trash?) that Heritage has in place for those fortunate winning bidders.

2. GOLDFIELD AUCTIONS – WEISWAMPTACH LUXEMBOURG.

They had a blue fake Ecailles Vase coming up in their September 2023 auction. We notified them with all appropriate information and evidence that it was a fake. They went ahead and sold it anyway. The got €1980 for it according to their own report of the sale.

3. ACTIVITY AUCTIONS – DOVER DELEWARE

Activity auctions has a business model that if potential bidders knew what they were up to, they would have no bidders!

We aren’t sure what to call this place. Their business model appears to be as follows: Find Ebay auctions with brand name items. Take info from the Ebay listings including photos, and list it in their own online auction elsewhere at a higher price than the Ebay listing without of course mentioning that they do not have possession or ownership of the item they are “auctioning” off, or that it is available for less money on Ebay, or that they have no authority to sell the item. It seems you can just look at any item in any of their online auctions that appear in LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, and Bidsquare, and just go to Ebay and pay less.

Assumedly if someone bids at their auction on LiveAuctioneers/Invaluable etc. and the bid is higher than the Ebay fixed price, they will then buy it from the Ebay seller if they can, and deliver it at the higher price to their winning bidder. What could go wrong 🙂

Basically it appears they are auctioning off things they do not have possession of, that they are not in control of, that they do not have on consigment in any way, and that they have no authority to sell because they do not own or have the item in their possession. Based on their apparent business model as described above, no one should ever buy anything from Activity Auctions as it seems it will always be cheaper going to the current owner and possessor of the item on Ebay. Obviously the bidders in their online auctions are not aware of the this information. And thinking about their business model, who would want to involve themselves with these people if they were aware of what they were doing? Nobody.

4. NCM Auctions (UK)

NCM auctions has a statement in their auction listings: Multiple Site – Delivery Arranged. That raises questions about what their business model looks like, so we sent them the following email just asking some simple questions:

Hello. We were considering listing your upcoming sale on our website but wanted to confirm a couple of things based on information in the lot listings. Our questions:
Are you currently in possession of the items to be auctioned? If so what is their current physical location? What does the the statement “Multiple Site – Delivery Arranged” indicate?

Please let us know,

Thanks,

Greg

After waiting over a month for a reply, we sent another email as follows:

Hello. Hoping to get a response from the below email (that was just a copy of the previous email). Please let us know.

Thanks

Greg

NCM never responded to our emails including not responding to the question if they are in possession of the items they are auctioning (seems like an easy yes/no answer). As a result we recommend you avoid this auction house until such time as they decide to give more details about their business model so that collectors bidding at their auctions can assess what risks there may or may not be when bidding with NCM.

R Lalique Signatures: Authentic Rene Lalique Signatures – Samples of Lalique’s Marks

July 6th, 2011

RLalique Signature on Fleur Aster BoxRene Lalique pieces show many different authentic R. Lalique signatures and we get regular inquiries asking where R. Lalique owners or collectors can go to see samples of actual R. Lalique signatures. In response, we’ve developed a page where readers can review the different signatures found on genuine pieces of R. Lalique. This new page showing how R. Lalique pieces were signed can coincidentally be found at this link: R.Lalique Signatures.

We also thought this would be a good time to answer some questions that come up quite regularly about the signatures found on R Lalique. This is not intended as a comprehensive discussion, but merely to answer common questions about Lalique’s signatures on his R. Lalique glass and other items. Jumping right in:

Apparent Rene Lalique Cire Perdue Vase Unsigned1. Is every piece of R. Lalique signed?

In the big picture of Rene Lalique’s works that were produced, by the percentages it is fair to say that the overwhelming majority of R. Lalique was signed in one form or another. However, Lalique produced a lot of pieces, so just a miniscule unsigned percentage can mean that many pieces were not signed with an R. Lalique mark. It appears that architectural items, especially parts of larger installations can be unsigned with some regularity (considering how irregularly these types of pieces appear that is :). And an apparently authentic (and original) piece appears without a signature from time to time. However, it would be a mistake in our opinion for the average collector to think they had found the pot of gold at the end of the Rene Lalique rainbow each time or any time an unsigned something or other popped up represented as R. Lalique, on one of the slim chances mentioned (or not mentioned) above. So we typically advise collectors to proceed in life as if everything was signed and should be signed. Basically, nearly every single piece percentage wise was signed, so why mess around. And when you go to sell, it’s usually much better to have a signed piece of R. Lalique than an academic explanation of why the unsigned piece is authentic. Note: The apparent cire perdue vase shown here appeared at auction advertised as unsigned and sold for over $100,000. We didn’t have the vase in-hand, so we don’t know one way or the other if it was in fact an unlikely unsigned R. Lalique Cire Perdue vase. However, it appears that at least two bidders were satisfied on the subject.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Does every authentic signature contain the phrase “R Lalique”?
 
Rene Lalique VDA Signature on a Pissenlit PlateRene Lalique VDA Signature witout FRANCE on an R. Lalique Graines D'ASperges Coupe PlateNo, not all signatures or marks contain the phrase “R. Lalique”. Some exceptions would be jewelry with metal backing is many times stamped LALIQUE in the metal, and may or may not be signed on the glass.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rene Lalique Masque Signature on a R. Lalique Gui BoxThere are 2 different VDA molded marks, one with FRANCE molded under it and one without FRANCE. VDA stands for Verrerie D’Alsace which is French for Alsatian Glassware. There’s also the Masque mark shown here. These 3 marks do not say R. Lalique. There are also some pieces signed just Lalique in the glass, either inscribed or in the mold. And there are a small number of items with just R L in the mold. Those are mainly (but not always) perfume bottles with small bases. So while most of what appears is signed R Lalique in one form or another, many pieces are signed differently.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

3. Is each example of the same R. Lalique model signed the same way, or can the same models have different signatures?

Many models can be found with different signatures that were used over time. It seems that the more popular a piece, or the longer it was in production, the more different signatures are seen.

Rene Lalique Made In France Signature on Palmes Vase

4. Is it true that no R. Lalique piece has “Made In France” signed on it?

No, there are a few pieces that have the phrase “Made In France”. For example, some Palmes Vases have a molded R. Lalique and Made In France on the underside as shown here. Another example is one of the Figurines Atomizers with a similar molded signature. Also some Tzigane Perfume Bottles for Corday are molded BOTTLE MADE IN FRANCE R. LALIQUE.

5. Do any R.Lalique pieces have more than one signature or mark?

Yes, a good number of pieces (but again, small percentage wise in terms of overall production) have more than one signature. Three examples:

Rene Lalique Added Lalique Script Signature on Courges VaseA. We sometimes see pieces with molded signatures that are perfectly readable, with a full R. Lalique France engraved or etched signature present as well. On the R. Lalique Signatures Page linked in the first paragraph above, we currently have a couple examples of double signatures at the end of the page, and more may be added over time.

B. The molded signature is faint or unreadable, so an inscribed signature is added. This is pretty typical on the Escargot Vase for example, where the molded signature is often quite faint, and a script Lalique is added. Shown here is a Courges Vase with the added script Lalique, as well as multiple signatures relevant to the following paragraph.

C. Whatever instrument or technique was used to impress an intaglio signature skipped (or who knows what), and more than one signature was impressed in the piece. We have seen up to six identifiable signatures on one piece. Shown following is a somewhat typical Courges Vase signature, a model that is often seen with multiple signatures.

6. When a piece is signed in script: R Lalique France #888, what does the number stand for?

This is the Rene Lalique et Cie model number to identify the model of the piece, which in this case is a Sauterelles Vase.

Rene Lalique Multiple Signatures on Courges Vase7. Do all pieces contain the word France in the signature?

No. Early produced pieces do not contain the word France. Our understanding is that no later than with the Tariff Act of 1930, the United States required the country of origin to be marked on imported goods. The USA being the biggest import market in the world on an overall basis at that time (and it still is the largest by far to this day (2019) if you were wondering), stuff all over the world that might be exported started getting the country of origin marked on it at the time of manufacture. This would naturally include Lalique’s great pieces.

8. Are any pieces signed “Rene Lalique”?

Well, never say never. But we are joining the Missouri crowd on this one….. show me.

9. Where were R. Lalique pieces signed?

In France of course!

Seriously, Lalique’s signature appears in many different places on his R. Lalique pieces. They can be signed on the bottom half of the side of a vase for example, anywhere on the underside of the base of nearly any piece, right in the design somewhere, or on the edge of something such as the edge of a box cover or on the side edge of the upper part of a disk shaped seal.

10. Were any pieces made after the death of Rene Lalique signed with an R. Lalique signature?

After World War II, small numbers of pieces were made from old molds that incorporated a molded R. Lalique signature before these molds were updated. However, most of these pieces were also given a modern Lalique France signature to indicate they were post war production. Notable among models that fall into this category are the Coq Nain Car Mascot, the Perche Car Mascot, the Sanglier Car Mascot, the Tete D’Aigle Car Mascot, the Saint-Christophe Car Mascot (all marketed only as paperweights post-war), the Quatre Perruches Frame (also used pre-war only for the Inseparables Clock), and Marienthal Plates. The Meudon Box has been seen several times with the molded R. Lalique signature on the side of the top, but the bottom is engraved Lalique France indicating it was produced after the war. And we have seen the Worth “Stars” Dans La Nuit Perfume Bottle with the molded R. LALIQUE signature but then with an engraved Lalique France as well. Keep in mind that the added post-war signature on any of these examples could later be polished off by an unscrupulous person, leaving only the molded R. Lalique signature. In addition to the above, there are also the molded R. Lalique CREATION signatures on some perfume bottles where the word CREATION tells you it’s post-war.

Further Discussion, Summary, And Resources

If readers that check out the page of Lalique’s signatures have photos of signatures or variations we are missing on that page, please email those in using the link and directions on the signature page. And if you have a question omitted here, or additional information you feel is important to this discussion, please email us using that same link.

VDA FRANCE Signature On A Vases Coupe-Plate With A Later R. Lalique Forgery Scratched InIf you are looking for examples of faked, forged, and copied R. Lalique signatures, see them on our site at this link: Faked, Forged, and Copied R Lalique Signatures! You’ll find that many of those faked signatures are quite good

In that regard, we wrap up this article with our constant admonition: Signatures do not authenticate pieces, it’s the other way around. Pieces authenticate signatures. Make a decision about the piece first, and then see if the signature fits. Just because a signature looks right, does not mean it is right. And signatures in most cases are far easier to fake than authentic pieces.

To put an emphasis on this point, once or twice a year we see authentic pieces with forged signatures! Usually it’s clearly an attempt to “boost” the signature from what the person thinks is a modern signature to a pre-war signature when no such boost is necessary. For example, a great early vase that was originally signed just Lalique on the lower part of the side in script, and someone adds the R. in front not realizing they have a great and rare thing that does not require further enhancement. And then there’s the example shown here, where someone not knowing that the great molded VDA (without FRANCE) or VDA FRANCE signatures are authentic R. Lalique marks, decides to improve things a bit with an R. Lalique addition. And there is also the occasional piece that for whatever reason (never signed originally, minor polishing or major repair or wear and tear removed the original signature, etc.) that has just a forged signature and none other.

So enjoy your collecting, but do it with your eyes open!

Rene Lalique Fakes: Antiques & Auction News Article Features RLalique.com As Its R Lalique Reference!

October 14th, 2009

Fake Lalique VaseThe October 16th issue of the “Antiques & Auction News”, the antiques publication that bills itself as “The Most Widely Read Collector’s Newspaper in the East!” has an extensive article covering the highlights of what collectors should be aware of in the area of fake Lalique and other dodgy items passed off as RLalique. The article, titled “Fooled By Fakes: Buyer Beware! Rene Lalique Art Glass by Anita Stratos”, also includes a discussion on color changed radiated pieces, as well as advice on how to protect yourself by being well informed.

The main reference material for the article was the information found here at RLalique.com in our section on Fake Lalique items, as well as in phone conversations between the author and an expert here at RLalique.com World Headquarters! Seriously, when you want to talk Ghosts; who you gonna call? You call Ghostbusters! When you want to talk RLalique ……….

Fake Lalique BowlWe’ve posted the article in its entirety with the generous and kind permission of the author Anita Stratos, in our Rene Lalique Articles of Interest Section! In addition to this article, you’ll also find several other articles of interest in that section, including articles covering bid rigging at auctions and other illegal bid schemes, which were written by a lawyer knowledgeable in auction law.

Fake Lalique Perfume BottleWe noted for the fakes article, that the incidence of fake Lalique items is much less than in many other fields, but as you can see from our Fake Lalique Section, and also the RLalique Police Page, there are landmines out there to be avoided.

Great news to have coverage of information from our site by a large and respected antiques publication. And also to have wider coverage of the kind of information that collectors should have to protect themselves against a mistaken purchase. One of the worst things for a collecting community is to have anyone, especially novice collectors or beginning collectors buy a fake or other problematic piece.

Fake Lalique StatueIt’s in the interest of all R Lalique collectors to have widely available information in this area, and to have a large overall knowledge base of public information that purchasers can access to get educated. This article is another step in the right direction of increasing public awareness and education. Check it out.

By the way, every item model pictured in this blog post has been represented or offered for sale as R Lalique. None are.

Lalique Exhibition Essay Garners Prestigious Smith Decorative Arts Award: Great Rene Lalique Publicity

April 9th, 2009

Rene Lalique Poppy Necklace Circa 1900

Lalique, Faberge and Tiffany Exhibition Catalog Essay by Stephen Harrison is awarded the 2008 Smith Award for the most distinguished article in decorative arts in 2008: Stephen Harrison, curator of the Lalique, Faberge, and Tiffany Exhibition Artistic Luxury, was one of two recipients for the year 2008 to receive the Smith Award for most distinguished decorative arts articles. The essay, which appeared in the catalogue of the exhbition, was entitled: Artistic Luxury in the Belle Époque. Stephen Harrison is the Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and was the organizer and driving force behind this great exhibition, which is now at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco thru May 31st! See our previous post on this Great Exhibit of Lalique (and some other stuff :). The Smith Award, honors the career of Doctor Robert Smith, who was a professor and noted art historian at the University of Pennsylvania, a place not unfamiliar to this writer, though there was not much art talk at the Wharton School :). Industry awards, such as the Smith Award, serve to focus the trade, collectors, museums, and the media on particular segments of the decorative arts field. Having one such award go to a Lalique related essay, is a wonderful thing for publicizing the works of the great Rene Lalique. By the way, it’s not hard to imagine how Mr. Harrison was inspired, looking at the unbelievable glass, enamel and gold poppy pendant necklace shown here, which was lent to the exhibition by the Toledo Museum of Art. For more information about the award and the Decorative Arts Society, you can visit their website.

Auction Law and Ethics: The $64,000 Question

October 10th, 2008

The $64,000 QuestionArticle number 5 has appeared in the great series on bid rigging and collusion at auctions running in the Maine Antiques Digest as part of their series on Auction Law and Ethics written by a lawyer familiar with auctions and the law. We have been reprinting the articles in this series here at RLalique.com with the permission of the author and the assistance of the Maine Antique Digest so that they will be available directly on our website for our fellow RLalique enthusiasts. All articles in this Bid Rigging Series are linked in our Articles of Interest page here at RLalique.com. This page can also be accessed from the link in our Navigation Section on the right hand side of any RLalique Blog page. You can also directly access the latest article in the series, the 5th article, by clicking on the title – Auction Law and Ethics: The $64,000 Question. We agree with the author that when bidders collude, it is a serious problem for all auction participants, and that all bidders at auctions should be aware of the laws about bid rigging and collusion. We highly recommend these articles to you and welcome your comments.

Auction Law And Ethics: Sleep Well! The 4th Article on Bid Rigging and Collusion At Auctions

September 12th, 2008

Sleep WellThe Maine Antique Digest has a monthly column dealing with Auction Law and Ethics. Each article is written by an expert auction lawyer. The current series deals with bid rigging and collusion among bidders. We have been reprinting the articles in this series here at RLalique.com with the permission of the author and the assistance of the Maine Antique Digest so that they will be available directly on our website for our fellow RLalique enthusiasts. Four articles in this Bid Rigging Series have appeared, all of which are linked in our Articles of Interest page here at RLalique.com. This page can also be accessed from the link in our Navigation Section on the right hand side of any RLalique Blog page. You can also access the 4th article in the series directly by clicking on the title – Auction Law and Ethics: Sleep Well. We agree with the author that when bidders collude, it is a serious problem for all auction participants, and that all bidders at auctions should be aware of the laws about bid rigging and collusion. We highly recommend these articles to you and welcome your comments.

Auction Law and Ethics

August 7th, 2008

The Maine Antique Digest is running a great series on Auction Law and Ethics, written by an attorney who is familiar with auctions and the law. The current series deals with bid rigging and collusion among bidders. As of the launching of our Blog, three articles have appeared, all of which are linked in our Articles of Interest page at RLalique.com. This page can also be accessed from the link in our Navigation Section on any Blog page. We agree with the author that when bidders collude, it is a serious problem for all auction participants, and that all bidders at auctions should be aware of the laws about bid rigging and collusion. We highly recommend these articles to you, and welcome your comments.

 
 

Copyright 2014 by City Concession Co. of Arizona Inc. We are not affiliated with anyone using part or all of the name Rene Lalique. We are a gathering place for R. Lalique enthusiasts.